Building A Smash Bros. Controller With Keyswitches

When it comes to competitive fighting games, having the right controller in your hands can make the difference between victory and defeat. Many tournaments have strict rules around controllers for this very reason. [Akaki Kuumeri] has recently put together a custom controller, aimed at maximising performance in Super Smash Brothers: Ultimate on the Nintendo Switch. (Video, embedded below.)

The build is assembled in an attractive 3D-printed body, made to be reminiscent of the original Nintendo Entertainment System controller. Inside, a cheap third-party Gamecube controller is used to interface with the console. Mechanical keyboard switches are used to replace the buttons and even the analog sticks, with a special modifier key that enables walking and running across the stage. This is pulled off with a handful of resistors emulating the intermediate position of the analog sticks, and makes pulling off advanced combos easier.

It’s a fun build, and we can imagine the precise digital key inputs having some benefits over analog controls. It also pays to note that such a build wouldn’t be as easy without the ready supply of mechanical key switches thanks to the custom keyboard subculture. We’ve seen these satisfying switches cropping up in many controller builds in recent times.

Continue reading “Building A Smash Bros. Controller With Keyswitches”

Creating Unbeatable Videogame AI

Super Smash Bros. Melee is a multiplayer fighting game released for the Nintendo GameCube in 2001. For the last decade and a half, it has become one of the premier fighting game eSports, and it is the reason Nintendo still makes a GameCube controller for the Wii U. Smash Melee has an intense following, and for years the idea of an AI that could beat top-tier players at Melee was inconceivable – the game was just far too complex, the strategies too demanding, and the tactics too hard.

[Dan] a.k.a. [AltF4] wasn’t satisfied that a computer couldn’t beat players at Melee, and a few years ago started work on the first Melee AI that could beat any human player. He just released Smashbot at this year’s DEF CON, and while the AI is limited, no human can beat this AI.

Continue reading “Creating Unbeatable Videogame AI”

Super Smash Bros Gets A Revamp With The Microsoft Kinect

[Eric] just sent in this awesome Kinect hack that he and a few friends worked on. Playing Super Smash Bros with a Kinect.

The system makes use of two Kinects, and three PCs. The first Kinect records each individual players moves, while the second Kinect watches both players “fight” each other. The first PC runs an Nintendo 64 emulator to play the game.character selection

The second PC runs a camera with OpenCV to add another cool but perhaps unnecessary feature, you see, even the character selection is a physical process, adding to the idea of playing the entire game with your body. A glass table allows players to set their 3D printed token onto the glass, effectively placing it on the character they would like to use.

And when the match ends, a windshield wiper knocks off the losing player’s token from the table.

The third PC is responsible for running both Kinects, which then has to send the resulting commands back to first PC over a TCP connection for input into the game.

They introduced it to the public at MHacks Fall 2014, a hacking competition sponsored by Dell and Intel. Video Below.

Continue reading “Super Smash Bros Gets A Revamp With The Microsoft Kinect”

Bitbanging Super Smash Bros.

[Kyle] and an a few of his classmates are wrapping up a microcontroller interfacing class at Purdue and thought it best to send in the results of their efforts. It’s a version of Super Smash Bros. made by just bitbanging pins on a microcontroller.

The hardware for the project is based around a Freescale 9S12c32, an updated version of the 30-year-old M68HC11 microcontroller. For the controls, the guys used a Playstation 2 joystick and buttons housed in an Altoids box, and the actual console is made out of strips of wood stapled together to look like a crate from Super Smash Bros.

There are nine playable characters:  Pikachu, Captain Falcon, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Mario, Luigi, Link, Kirby, and Fox. Despite these characters being only four pixels high, the game looks extremely playable (at least when two players don’t choose the same character). After the break is the video demo of Super Smash Bros: Bitbang edition, along with a gallery of pics showing the console and gameplay. All the code is up on GitHub for your perusal.

Continue reading “Bitbanging Super Smash Bros.”